A Delightful Success Formula: Measure Twice; Cut Once

A Delightful Success Formula: Measure Twice; Cut Once

I take delight in meeting deadlines and delivering projects on time. I know it’s weird. But I truly like being organized and I’m a dedicated planner. As you can imagine this is an invaluable skill when writing copy for small businesses – often several projects at a time.

How do I project manage? It’s my Measure Twice; Cut Once Plan

1. I lay out a detailed editorial calendar that tells my client’s story and brings readers to a conclusion and a decision. I work backwards from the publishing date and measure the time it will take for each step leading up to that date (first measurement). And then I confirm all deadlines with the marketing team (measure twice).

2. The delightful part is that once that calendar is finalized, I only have to cut through the details once, without having to re-negotiate deadlines along the way. I’m happy. The client is happy.

As a business owner, you may not be creating all of your own content. Or maybe you are and, if so, this is even more important for you. In either event, you need to ensure that the people who are writing for you are on target and on time. The creation of an editorial calendar is an outstanding way to begin.

And if you would like a copy of one of my editorial templates, click here now.

Why not schedule a 15-minute CLAIREty CALL with me?
Get a free estimate on your copywriting project.
No obligation, of course.

Hogs, Jogs, and The Power of Blogs

Hogs, Jogs, and The Power of Blogs

For the past few days, I have been waking up and writing blog posts for my Jigsaw publication.

As a business owner, I know you know the importance of staying in front of your customer. Whether you’re a hog farmer or sell running shoes, your customers have to be reminded of your existence all the time. There is nothing better (and cheaper) than a consistent email campaign or blog to stay in front of your customer.

One Snag

This does require creating a ton of content. However, there are a few things you can do to create and keep track of content so that you don’t drop off the cliff in a month.

  1. Brainstorm all the topics about which your customers would like information. Be sure that these topics relate to your business so that you have the creds. to offer advice.
  2. Categorize the topics. This makes it easier when you’re writing. Once you’ve written one tip on email marketing, for instance, it doesn’t take a lot of time to write a second tip.
  3. Select low-hanging fruit. For which topics do you already have easily-obtainable information – emails, articles, employee expertise, etc.? Write these first.
  4. Create an editorial calendar and map out a realistic publishing schedule in advance
  5. Include calls to action for every blog post – whether a link to another piece of free information, a product for sale, or an invitation for a free consultation.
  6. 2 productivity hacks that work:
    • Go someplace where there are no distractions – I don’t write in Starbucks, for instance;
    • Take regularly scheduled breaks for 15-20 minutes, usually after every 60 or 90 minutes of writing. I actually set an alarm clock to remind me to stop. This does 2 things – it gives me something to look forward to so that I keep writing and it clears my head so that I can write more. Plus it makes the whole process more fun!

P.S. If you would like to talk to me about writing your blog or newsletter, give me a call. I love writing this stuff. 917-670-3554

Do You Know The First Thing to Do When Creating A Website?

Do You Know The First Thing to Do When Creating A Website?

Readable … Navigable … Remarkable

That’s what every website must be to grab – and keep attention.

If you think your website has become outdated, doesn’t reflect your current business, or is just BORING, and you really want to revise or start over, you’re in luck. I write TONS of website copy, and I love to pass on some of the things I’ve learned to my readers.

I have a whole process that I take my wonderful clients through before getting started. There is one thing, however, that I insist on before I begin writing and that is to ESTABLISH SMART GOALS. What is a SMART GOAL? This is an acronym for the 5 elements of successful goal-setting, which are:

  • SPECIFIC – that is well-defined and focused – e.g., increase leads among millennials in the northeast
  • It should have a MEASURABLE outcome. You might say a 5% increase in leads among millennials in the northeast
  • ACHIEVABLE – in other words it should be realistic, not an outlandish dream – like 50% increase in leads among millennials in the northeast in a month
  • It needs to be RELEVANT to the current business climate – so while you might want to have your best year ever, if a recession is looming, and a couple of new competitors have moved into the market, this might not be realistic
  • And TIME-BASED. The reality is things don’t get done and goals don’t get attained unless you put them in a time frame and establish a deadline

So whether you have a bunch of employees or are an awesome powerhouse of one, your business success depends on your ability to set and achieve goals. Put your website – and your business – on the fast-track by applying the principles of SMART goal setting.

And if you would like to move even faster and smarter, call me
for a free consultation and I’ll share some more tips. 917-670-3554

An Insanely Easy Way to Increase Open Rates

An Insanely Easy Way to Increase Open Rates

Re-send to people who don’t open. Create two subject lines, and alternative lead sentences. Send your email to your entire list on Day 1. Then, on Day 2, send the exact same email with the alternative subject line and lead to everybody who did not open your email. I’ve increased my open rates by as much as 50%!

Check This Out

Check This Out

Even the best of us feel squeamish asking for testimonials. It seems like we’re wrenching those golden referrals from customers who we know very well love us. Why do we have so much trouble asking for them?

But ask, we gotta!

According to ClickZ, when asked how they felt when there are no customer reviews available, a whopping 35% said they were less likely to buy, and 32% said they would hold off making a buying decision until they did more research. Only 8% said they didn’t care.

Here are some tips which may make the process a little easier:

  • The best time to ask for a recommendation is when you have just done something really wonderful and your customer is high on you. It’s not necessary to wait until you have completed your project.
  • Give your request urgency by stating a reasonable deadline
  • Gently suggest what you would like included – which should exemplify one of your core messages. For instance, when I ask for a reference, I try to get my customer to quantify any increases in revenue or customers generated by my work.
  • You can offer to write a draft for your customer’s approval if you know them well and know this is something they would be open to. Sometimes it makes both of your lives easier.
  • Be sure to send the finished draft back to the customer for approval, and keep a record of the approval in your file.

How Will You Crush Your 2018 Goals?

How Will You Crush Your 2018 Goals?

According to Dr. Travis Bradberry, co-author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, the #1 reason we’re so bad at meeting goals is that we bite off more than we can chew. It may seem reasonable to list a bunch of BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) on our 2018 Market Planner, but realistically it’s a plan that we rarely execute.

When we try to develop too many projects at once, they become competing priorities that leave us distracted, discouraged, and overwhelmed.

The good news is that you can achieve the greatest business success by identifying and managing a single audacious goal for the year, thereby allowing you to focus your energies with tremendous results.